The Movable Beast
by
Norm Deplume

There once was a prune named Oliver Beast,
and of all of the littlest, he was the least.
As tired of obscurity he rapidly became,
Oliver opted to tango with fame.
He grew a big toe and another to boot,
and quickly enough he'd grown him a foot!
- and just to show that that wasn't the end,
he produced a twin foot to be the first's friend.
Together those shufflers were mightily content,
as Oliver proudly showed them for comment.
As an aesthetic addition he willingly chose
to suck in his cheeks 'til he squoze out a nose.
And no human effort in poetry or prose
could justly describe that rose of a nose.
With his newfound mobility he hit the road for success,
and started his trip with some high-octane guests.
He debuted on "Leno" and contracted with Letterman,
he quickly became a "Crossfire" veteran.
Oliver found himself conversing with zeal
about complex world affairs with Robert Macneil.
Fox offered a sitcom, Woody Allen sent scripts,
Oliver vacationed in Maui between frequent ski trips.
He'd struck the big time, and none could deny
the rare appeal of this singular guy.
Oliver too was impressed with himself,
with the stack of autobiographies adorning his shelf-
all ghostwritten of course, with titles so pleasin':
Such as "I, Uberfruit" and "A Prune for All Seasons".
It wasn't all hype and glory, he had his detractors;
there were those who suggested sinister factors
to explain the arrival of humanoid features
upon what's historically been one of earth's lesser creatures.
"He must be from Mars-or maybe Chernobyl;
we must stop him now or his kind will go global!"
Still others denied it, "All smoke and all mirrors",
scoffed the doubters and flouters, the sneerers and jeerers.
They ranted and raved and so generally fussed,
a public press conference became a must.
Oliver called in the reporters, every woman and man,
he took a deep breath and then he began:
"I recall, in my youth, as a plum on the branch,
that a certain unsettling notion advanced
deep down in my being, in the pit, if you please,
that there had to be more than just swinging on trees.
And while most of my fellows seemed content in that state
I knew in my soul that I could not share their same fate:
to lie all day in sun and to shrivel, by stages,
to the decrepit condition of a plum that is aged.
Such a future, for me, bore no fruit, if you will.
It did not do so then and would not do so still.
And so, with not the slightest reference,
I began to search for some other preference.
I knew in my heart that a bit of fine tuning
would lead me to something more useful than pruning.
I sucked up my pride and avoided extinction
in entering your world of celebrity and distinction.
And I hope that at once you can understand rightly,
as I appear on your television now almost nightly;
it is not for your pleasure, hardly more for mine
but merely a small part of a greater design
so please be less hawkish, less drooling, more kind
as you sit on your couch and judge us from behind.
You must understand, for me as for all-
we do what we must to make it at all.
And those of us who seem less aerodynamic, less stylish, less 'right',
are perhaps only now learning to be what we might;
Or better than that! We may have other ideals,
things too deeply living to be outwardly revealed.
So take it from me, Mr. Oliver Beast;
judge slowly, if at all, and not yourself the least."

About the author

Norm Deplume is a righteous observer of the world and it's peculiarities, most notably the universal inclination to leave our minds in the care of large bulbous glowing appliances for hours at a time. Norm spends his waking hours at the subtle manipulation of world economic markets with the ultimate goal of rescuing his native France from what seems to be a hopeless social muddle so that king Babar may once again in glory reacquire his throne. Norm has one good friend, the selfless Brewster who rides shotgun in the converted steam shovel which Norm calls home. Norm measures up at five foot two, is currently sporting five weeks of facial growth, and wears a long gray Mao jacket with "kudzu" tattoed on the sleeve. He also wears shoes on his hands.

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The Prune Copyright 2001, Norm Deplume
The Prune Copyright 2001, FableVision